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An Anthropology of Biomedicine is an exciting new introduction to biomedicine and its global implications. Focusing on the ways in which the application of biomedical technologies bring about radical changes to societies at large, cultural anthropologist Margaret Lock and her co-author physician and medical anthropologist Vinh-Kim Nguyen develop and integrate the thesis that the human body in health and illness is the elusive product of nature and culture that refuses to be pinned down.
Introduces biomedicine from an anthropological perspective, exploring the entanglement of material bodies with history, environment, culture, and politics
Develops and integrates an original theory: that the human body in health and illness is not an ontological given but a moveable, malleable entity
Makes extensive use of historical and contemporary ethnographic materials around the globe to illustrate the importance of this methodological approach
Integrates key new research data with more classical material, covering the management of epidemics, famines, fertility and birth, by military doctors from colonial times on
Uses numerous case studies to illustrate concepts such as the global commodification of human bodies and body parts, modern forms of population, and the extension of biomedical technologies into domestic and intimate domains
Winner of the 2010 Prose Award for Archaeology and Anthropology
“It will be of enormous use to students and researchers concerned with the sociality of biomedicine for years to come, offering both an impressive coverage of subject matter and moments of original argumentation.” (Sociology of Health & Illness, 2011)
"Beyond this, the book should provide a useful reference for social scientists working in areas related to the intersection of culture and biomedicine." (Choice , 1 April 2011)
Margaret Lock is the Marjorie Bronfman Professor Emerita in the Department of Social Studies of Medicine and the Department of Anthropology at McGill University. Among her numerous awards are the Gold Medal for Research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Wellcome Medal of Britain's Royal Anthropological Society. In 2005 she was awarded both a Killam Prize and Trudeau Foundation Fellowship. She is the author and/or co-editor of 14 books and has published more than 190 articles.
Vinh-Kim Nguyen is a physician and a medical anthropologist. He practices medicine in Montréal at the Clinique l'Actuel, which specializes in HIV and hepatitis, and the Emergency Department of the Jewish General Hospital, and teaches at the University of Montreal where he is an Associate Professor in Social Medicine. As a researcher, he is affiliated with both Global Health Unit of the Montreal University Hospitals' Research Centre and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. He was recently awarded the Aurora prize for his research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.